In this study, two-dimensional laminar incompressible and turbulent compressible flow through the planar diffuser (gradual expansion) for different divergence half angles of the diffuser (θ), and different Reynolds numbers (Re) was numerically studied. The effects of θ on the critical Reynolds number at which the onset of asymmetric flow is observed, were investigated. In the laminar flow regime, it was observed that for every values of θ, there is a critical Re beyond which the flow is asymmetric. However, in the turbulent flow regime, for θ ≥ 20°, even at low Reynolds number the flow is asymmetric. Only for θ ≤ 10°, symmetric flow was observed below a critical Re.

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